At Facebook, everything we do is about making the world more social and creating more personalized experiences. On Facebook, people do everything from remembering their friends' birthdays to reuniting with old classmates to even finding people willing to donate their organs to save their lives. We think making the world more personal and social is having a profound impact on the way we relate to the people, communities and institutions around us.
In a more connected world, advertisers are social too. This gives you the chance to connect to... the companies and brands you like and learn more about their products and services. We believe that more personalized social advertising complements the ways that people use Facebook every day—to discover, share and connect with the people and the world around them.
Whether it's a new car, a local dentist or a t-shirt, many of the things you discover on Facebook come from your friends. Just as advertising has changed the experience of searching on the web, we think advertisers are a meaningful part of the social graph and the online experience as a whole.
We have designed Facebook to provide relevant and interesting advertising content to you in a way that protects your privacy completely. We never share your personal information with advertisers. We never sell your personal information to anyone. These protections are yours no matter what privacy settings you use; they apply equally to people who share openly with everyone and to people who share with only select friends.
We also protect your privacy by virtue of the way our advertising system works. Because our system chooses which ads to show you, we don't need to share any of your personal information with advertisers in order to show you relevant ads. In order to advertise on Facebook, advertisers give us an ad they want us to display and tell us the kinds of people they want to reach. We deliver the ad to people who fit those criteria without revealing any personal information to the advertiser.
The only information we provide to advertisers is aggregate and anonymous data, so they can know how many people viewed their ad and general categories of information about them. Ultimately, this helps advertisers better understand how well their ads work so they can show better ads.
Advertisers can also request that we display ads based on the things you have said you liked in your profile. We think this means you will get ads that are more personalized to your real interests and this makes your experience on Facebook even better. For example, if you are a small business selling tents you might want to target adults ages 18-49 who have liked camping or hiking. Our advertising system only shows the number of people who fit those criteria.
Once the ad runs, we report how many people saw or clicked on the ad and we provide aggregate demographic information. We do not show individual profiles or personal information in our reporting tools.
If you are interested in seeing how this works, you can watch this video:
We have built—and are continuing to grow—a successful advertising business that gives you the opportunity to discover and connect to things you like while respecting your privacy no matter how you choose to share your information. We think an online advertising experience that is social and puts consumers at the center of an ongoing, two-way conversation is better for people and businesses alike.
Sheryl is Facebook's chief operating officer.